Transforming Higher Education for a Changing World – Campus Life – Kamloops

An outstanding group of educators from across the country gathered in Banff this month to create a project that could change the landscape of post-secondary education in Canada.

Dr. Naowarat (Ann) Cheptam, a member of the biological sciences faculty at Thompson Rivers University, is one of 10 recipients of this year’s 3M National Teaching Fellowship, joining a membership of more than 300 post-secondary faculty for their teaching and educational leadership. . But the reward is not just on the back. At the annual fellowship conference, the new team met to create change, and a year and $25,000 in 3M funding to see it through.

“This is a great opportunity as a teacher in academia to positively impact higher education in Canada,” says Cheptham, the first faculty member from TRU to join the fellowship.

Anne Cheptam with the 3M Summit Cohort at Banff 2022

Anne Cheptam with colleagues at the 2022 3M National Teaching Fellowship Conference in Banff.

“We talked about the changing world, the changing landscape of higher ed: the climate, the epidemic, a lot about equity, diversity and inclusion, and truth and reconciliation. We were asked to present the main issues, and the facilitators did a good job of framing that, finding themes and commonalities.

The fellows come from a variety of disciplines, from medicine to accounting to marketing. But they found a common thread in all four days of the conference.

“All ten of us,” says Cheptum, “celebrate critical reflection on our journey as educators.” “So in the short term, in this first year, we’re going to put out a tool to help new and experienced teachers who are really excited to teach, explore themselves.”

When teachers see where they are as teachers and where they want to go, the next step is to add resources to the tool to support them in their continued development.

Longer term, the team envisions their tool as a clear measure of what a unique 21st-century teacher looks like—one that will change how teachers are evaluated.

“We can list all the ways to measure an effective researcher: from publications to research grant dollars to the number of people we supervise/supervise, etc. But there is no robust, comprehensive measure of teaching. Are student surveys or how many awards really a valid measure? she says.

The group’s combined resources include extensive teaching and access to post-doctoral researchers. 3M funding was used in part to hire research assistants to ask research questions and audit all data. Cheptam also hopes to have a self-scanning device ready for launch by the end of next year.

“I’ve never been to a meeting, conference, workshop or anything that made me feel so empowered at the end,” she says.

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